24 November, 2017, one month before Christmas Eve I came to terms with my weight. And I have a lot of weight for my short frame. You can read about it in the first blog of this Out of Obesity series, but that’s really all I did at that time. I looked up how much weight I need to shed to reach a healthy weight, and wrote that number down, and then I went on my merry little way nibbling through Thanksgiving. I mean, who begins a diet right before Thanksgiving? Not me.
Thanksgiving came and went, and you know what? I didn’t gain any weight! But, I didn’t lose any either. It wasn’t because I didn’t over eat, I did over eat, I’m ashamed to say. But prior to the big feasts, I was extremely active with the middle school youth ministry November project. Those amazing kids, and their wonderful families, collected enough canned goods to fill 17 file boxes full of food, and enough funds to put a grocery store gift card with each one of them for fresh or frozen foods to complete their meals, and then we delivered it to our local Catholic Charities for families already waiting in line. It’s the favorite service project for many of the youth, and it’s a veryactive time for me. So, I’m betting all that moving, sorting & lifting had a lot to do with the stable weight in November.
Most of December I was coasting too, not really thinking about my weight or eating habits much, I mean, who starts a diet right before Christmas? Not me. Or so I thought.
But then came our last Junior High Youth Ministry meeting of 2017, and that called for a party! Games, singing, apple cider, cupcakes, and of course cookies! It was a phenomenal night.
So much laughter, so much joy, so much sugar. For some reason this particular night, I ended up with the leftover sweets. So, I sat down Sunday night with a plate piled high with beautiful and delicious Christmas cookies. While looking over the notes and photographs from the evening, I mindlessly ate probably half of them.
That following Monday morning, 18th of December, found me like most of my days off, staying close to the coffee pot and answering necessary emails. Unlike most of my Monday’s off, I had a huge stack of cookies with me. I’m sure I ate 20 before I even realized it. Yes, they were small, but still, that’s a lot of cookies! That’s when I asked my husband to throw the rest of them away for me. That was the turning point. I’ve known for a long time I’m a sugar addict, but even I was shocked at how I was reacting to that plate of cookies.
So, I withdrew from the office cookie exchange and immediately began to not eat sugar. No sugar. None. For 4 days I was able to stay completely away from it, in all forms, no sugar at all, added or natural, and I was amazed.
I mean, who gives up sugar the week before Christmas? Apparently, that would be me.
Day 5 happened to be on the day of our office Christmas luncheon with some really delicious winter squash ravioli. Day 6 was Christmas Eve with a traditional fruit cake made by one of my sisters, using our grandmother’s recipe. Day 7 was Christmas day with my sister-in-law’s famous coconut cake. Day 8 was dinner with a wonderful friend and my fantastic God-daughter, who made baked brie with apricot jam in puffed pastry just for me. And it was delicious.
You can tell from this I didn’t starve myself, but I did have very real conversations with myself over the cake. Was the fruitcake worth it? Absolutely! Did I eat as much as I would have just the week before? Absolutely not. Instead I had a small slice and savored it as long as possible.
The coconut cake went much the same way with a very important exception: I only had a part of one layer, not even a slice, with just a little of the icing, and I made it last as long as possible. I was not as controlled with the baked brie, but again, not nearly as careless as I would have been even a week ago.
Today, Thursday the 28th of December finds me on the other side of the biggest temptations of the season. I remain committed to this journey towards better health, and as of this morning my BMI is 29.9. That’s a loss of 9 pounds, and that means I am officially not obese any longer! Who would have thought being categorized as overweight would be a reason to celebrate? Me.
On this journey out of obesity, so far I’ve discovered a few things: Sugar hides in the most unexpected places. Sometimes the sugar is worth it. When the sugar is worth it, I have to be completely aware of the form and quantity I’m consuming. And now, I know I can do that.
This entry is simply to mark my thoughts and progress, and to note that I’m pleasantly surprised I made progress over the recent days. Productive comments and suggestions are encouraged, others traveling on this journey are welcome to join me.
I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13
And so it continues……